7 Must-Have Items for Potty Training

Ahhhh, potty training! A big milestone for little kids and parents too.

I did a lot of things to prepare for potty training my kids. I read articles about how to potty train your child in five days or less, bought books and talked to other moms but none of it seemed to work. It took a long, long time for us.

Potty Training with Patience and Perseverance

You can get discouraged pretty quickly when you play the comparison game. It's easy to look around and wonder why your child isn't toilet trained when all of their friends are. And my advice to you is this: relax. Your baby isn't going to college in their Easy Ups. Look for medical reasons and psychological reasons (a new move, a change in your family, that sort of thing) that might be hindering them. And if there aren't any — take a deep breath and try to chill. Keep working on it and eventually everything will click.

7 Potty Training Products and Must-Haves

But in the beginning, getting prepared is key. Each time I started potty training one of the kids, I created a “potty training kit” with all the items I'd need to make the job a little easier. Here are a few of my must-haves.

1. Pampers Easy Ups Training Underwear: I know people have differing opinions on this, so I tried a few different products. I tried plain underwear, so the kids would know when they were wet or dirty, and I also tried Pampers Easy Ups Training Pants for Boys, to protect them (and me) from accidents. The kids didn't really notice a difference – they were able to use the bathroom just as easily when wearing Pampers Easy Ups and had just as many accidents wearing underwear. (Although as time went on my daughter would try to make it to the potty faster when she was wearing Easy Ups because she didn't want to get the characters dirty, so score one for Dora.) But in the end, the simple truth is this … you can lock yourself at home for a few days to work on potty training, but eventually you're going to have to go to the store or the doctor, and training pants great for ensuring the kids don't make a mess when you're out.

2. Special toilet seat: I still think this is one of the coolest things we bought, and my littler kids still use it. It's a child-sized toilet seat that folds into the lid of an adult-sized seat. The kids can fold down the smaller seat when they need to use it. No removable inserts you need to store. No little potties to move around. It takes up almost no space, and the kids feel like they're using the toilet like a grown-up, minus the awful fear of falling in.

3. Flushable wipes: It takes a while for kids to learn to properly clean themselves. These are a great step between baby wipes and toilet paper.

4. Step stool: For reaching the sink to wash hands when they're finished. Make sure you keep hand towels and soap on a level where the kids can reach them.

5. Waterproof mattress protector: When you're ready to potty train overnight, you'll want a plastic sheet to protect the bed. I liked the kind that zip rather than fitted sheets because they stayed in place better, but either one will work just fine.

6. Disinfecting wipes: You're going to have accidents to clean up! Make sure you have plenty of cleaning wipes, and plastic bags so you can bag up the mess.

7. Patience: Whether your child actually does potty train in three days, or whether they take the better part of a year (or more! I've been there), you're going to need patience. Even when you've finished potty training, there will be setbacks. It's ok. Repeat after me, “No one's going off to college in Easy Ups.” Now treat yourself to a coffee. Tomorrow is another day.

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